American Ambulance Association Recognizes 80+

The American Ambulance Association (AAA) honored its 2014 class of 82 Stars of Life over 3 days in the Nation's capital with a celebration, education and advocacy. This one of a kind event honors the dedication of ambulance services professionals.

The American Ambulance Association (AAA) honored its 2014 class of 82 Stars of Life over 3 days in the Nation's capital with a celebration, education and advocacy. This one of a kind event honors the dedication of ambulance services professionals — those remarkable individuals that stand out and represent excellence in every area of the industry. A community of the unsung, often inconspicuous in their heroism and commitment to the communities they serve. They are extraordinary men and women that make a difference every day.

The American Ambulance Association represents organizations serving more than 75% of the U.S. population with emergency and non-emergency care and medical transportation services. Each year they host the Stars of Life event in Washington, D.C. to publicly recognize and celebrate the achievements of their members. Jimmy Johnson, AAA President, stated, "Everyday, across the country, the men and women of EMS are serving their communities by providing vital medical care in emergency situations. Anytime someone dials 911 there are a number of highly trained professionals that respond and arrive to deliver excellent emergency medical and pre-hospital care."

Past Stars of Life have included heroic individuals involved with the response to September 11th, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and other National Disasters. "However," Johnson notes, "all of our stars have performed a duty equally important to the communities they serve and we hold this event to honor their everyday efforts."

This year's keynote speaker was Captain Raymond Dupuis from the Watertown Police Department. On Monday, March 24th at a luncheon with the Stars, he presented his perspective on the Boston Marathon bombing, how the suspects ended up in Watertown and the impact upon the police, Fire, and EMS the community of Watertown, Massachusetts. Survivor Jeff Bauman also spoke to the class of Stars about his experience during the attack.

At the Tuesday, March 25th banquet, AAA presented two Recognition of Valor awards to Laurie Flaherty and Noah Smith who rendered aid to Navy Yard victim, Vishnu Pandit (who later died). Flaherty is a RN and emergency trauma nurse and Smith is an EMT. Both are National Highway Traffic Safety Administration EMS staff members. Pandit's family attended to thank them for their efforts. Tommy Wells, DC councilman from District 6 and chair of the DC Public Safety committee, presented the honors. The Navy Yard is located in his district.

Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) were honored with a Legislator of the Year Award for their dedication to issues of importance to ambulance services. In addition, eight Senators and eighteen Representatives received an AAA Legislative Recognition Award for their support of key ambulance legislation.

Stars and their hosts visited Capitol Hill to discuss legislative issues critical to the ambulance industry such a Medicare reimbursement, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) ambulance extension and Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program to paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) at private companies.

About American Ambulance Association
Founded in 1979, the American Ambulance Association promotes health care policies that ensure excellence in the ambulance services industry and provides research, education and communications programs to enable its members to effectively address the needs of the communities they serve. The AAA represents ambulance services across the United States that participate in serving more than 75% of the U.S. population with emergency and non-emergency care and medical transportation services. For more information about the AAA visit their Web site at www.the-aaa.org.

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